Introduction: Make a One Desk Electronics Lab (in a Small Place, for Beginners)

Picture of Make a One Desk Electronics Lab (in a Small Place, for Beginners)

Living without closets and without a work room isn't easy, really don't like that I have a small room. We have a weekend house, that I'm visiting very often because I have a whole electronics lab there (with Arduino stations and many more), but here at home in my extremly small room I haven't enough space to make a fully functional lab, so I should be creative.

In this Instructable I'll show and explain you how to organize your desk to have everything that is neccesary for electronics projects. I'll show you that what kind of tools and parts are needed in your inventory. If you're a beginner hope I'll help you. I also will show you some life hacks that you may find useful. If you liked this Instructable let me know if you want to see my electronics workplace.

With the help of some instresting life hacks you can make a whole lab in your room, and I'll teach you how.

Step 1: A Quick Preview

Picture of A Quick Preview

When 10 years ago jumped in the world of the electronics I decided that I won't leave that anything prevent my creativity, so I won't leave that the lack of space turn against me. This is my extended workbench and my learning desk. It's very practical, I'm usually learning here to the highschool, but can be transformed into a workbench in seconds. On the second picture you can see how looks in "normal mode". I have a laptop on it that is neccesary for electronics, for programming, designing circuits. I'm using Fritzing and EAGLE to design electric circuits. These two programs are helping me a lot.

It's important to have a very comfortable chair, because sometimes I sit 3-4 hours at my desk. Mine isn't such a modern chair but helps me to keep a correct posture. May hurt if you keep your back crooked. Please always be attantive to this. Life Hack: If your back hurts, just make 20 push-ups then keep a minute of past, repeat this three times and you should feel yourself better, hope helps. This will move your muscles.

Step 2: What Is Needed in an Electronics Worksplace?

I'll tell you that what do you need if you wat to change the world at your desk.

Tools:

  • Soldering Iron (I recommend Weller)
  • Solder
  • Soldering Station (I'll show you how to make your own)
  • Wire Stripper/Cutter
  • Dremel/Rotary Tools (for making project enlosures or robots
  • Glue Gun
  • Super Glue
  • Electricity Conductive Ink (to correct errors in circuits)
  • Desoldering Pump
  • Screw Driver
  • Laptop
  • Metal Ruler
  • Multimeter

Finlally store all of these in a small gabinet. :)

Hardwere Parts:

  • Wooden Disks
  • Hobby-Glas
  • Plastic Enclosures
  • Boxes (to organize electronic components)
  • Anything else you need

I store these usually under or next to my desk between furnitures.

Electronincs:

  • Arduinos (I have at least 4 of them that I don't use, because they are needed for prototyping. Once I made my project, I buy a new one to have on stock)
  • Transistors, Resistors, Capacitors, ICs, Timers, Prorotype Circuits (I buy passive and active electronic components from a local store, it's like a Radioshack in my town, if you haven't a local shop I'll link some sites where you can buy parts: Gearbest and TME or Digikey. I'm also buying parts on eBay, but my experience is that Gearbest is a bit more depandable. For buying gadgets, like tablets, phones I always ho up to Amazon.com.)
  • Cables
  • Breadboards
  • Motors
  • Speakers
  • Magnets
  • Solar Panels
  • Arduino Modules (LCDs, Buttons, OLED screens, Bluetooth, WiFi and many more... I bought them from Gearbest or from eBay)

Step 3: An Always Ready Arduino UNO

Picture of An Always Ready Arduino UNO

I never use that Arduino UNO for done project. I'm testing codes and make prorotypes with it.

Step 4: LinkIt ONEs Instead of a Lot of Modules

Picture of LinkIt ONEs Instead of a Lot of Modules

If I want to build an IoT project I use one of my Meadiatek LinkIt ONE Dev-Board. Has an all in one WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, GPRS, GSM, SMS and SD card connections. These guys saved my projects a lot times. And I love to use them. Instead of buying a lot of modules you can use this pocket sized circuit that can be stoed anywhere in your workbench, because it has the same size like an Arduino UNO. I almost forgot to say that is fully Arduino IDE compatible...

Step 5: Two-Legged Instant Expanding Desk

Picture of Two-Legged Instant Expanding Desk

Again because of the lack of space I had to find a good solution to expand my desk, because it's pretty small without it. The recipe is easy: I used a plywood table and two wooden rods to make a quickly buildable computer or work desk. The best thing is that if I don't use can be hidden between my furnitures and the wall. The other side of the table is standing on my desk's keyboard holder.

Step 6: When Is Needed?

Picture of When Is Needed?

Everytime when I'm programming, crafting or soldering I use it. I make pictures on it for my Instructables to give clear pictures for the readers.

Step 7: Random Shoebox

Picture of Random Shoebox

I have a shoebox in one of my cabinets and I store 18650 Li-Ion batteries for robots and future ptojects. I also store here a lot of motors, battery holders, cables and power adapters. It's good have a 5 volt, or a 12 volt power supply adapter for weekend projects. You can save a lot of space by making a homemade shoebox organizer box.

Step 8: Random Cabinet

Picture of Random Cabinet

As you can see this cabinet does not contains so many parts now beacuse I dropped out junk, but usually is full of prototype circuits, batteries, speaker drivers and microcontrollers. I also store here PC power supplies, old projects, solar panels, my rotary tool and plexyglas for making chassis for robotics projects. So I just put here every kind of thing for future projects, but my mom said that I should keep order I wasn't brave enough to say her "no". :)

Step 9: Homemade Soldering Station

Picture of Homemade Soldering Station

Three years ago I made this plywood based soldering station, and still works right. Almost every holding element is made from very strong copper wire, but is still foldable. I created a fume extractor with an old CPU fan that runs on 12 volts and contains also 4 extrabright LEDs to ensure good light for working.

Has a lot of advantages, it's a very compact device, and every part on it that you see can be folded down to put in your cabinet.

Step 10: Phone Sized Oscilloscope

Picture of Phone Sized Oscilloscope

A DSO Nano V3 is always next to me when designing circuits. It's a digital pocket sized oscillospoce, and measures very precisely.

Step 11: A Good Friend

Picture of A Good Friend

This is my homemade phone controlled BB-8 droid that reflects that I'm a Star Wars fan. I keep this one place always clean.

Step 12: The Shelves

Picture of The Shelves

I change very often gadgets on shelves, right now you can see an always half-done robot prototype that is used to test programs. It's very easy to use with a motor shield and makes prototyping easier. I also have some microcontrollers and drones on the right corner, but on the center you can see my Arduino Server that has 433mHz Radio Frequency, Bluetooth, and Wifi connectivity. I'll use this for and upcoming mindwave/thought controlled project, but sometimest I use to quick prototype something IoT stuff with the build in Particle Photon that can be programmed wirelessly. I simply love that developer board. I also store some done projects on this shelve.

Step 13: Smallest Toolbox

Picture of Smallest Toolbox

In that small thing should I store my tools. Here are almost every basic stuff that I need to make my project. If something isn't here I go and take it from my dad's workbench and fortunately he gives me them with pleasure (Well, he has no choice).

Step 14: Gadgets...

Picture of Gadgets...

I have only some basic gadgets, a tablet to check shematics, a phone of course and a bluetooth speaker to my favorite songs while working.

Step 15: Organizing Boxes

Picture of Organizing Boxes

The parts and neccesary prototyping tools are all stored in boxes like this. I have six of them. These two are that are on the pictures are used commonly, the others are more professional, and I have some "secret" project prototypes plans in them.

I store microcontrollers, DIY modules, jumper wires and many more parts for circuits like transistors, ICs, resistors, LEDs...

Step 16: The Biggest Life Hack

During the years I learned that the biggest life hack to save space in your room is to keep order. I'm not an orderly/tidy boy, but the truth is that sometimes is needed to keep order in your room and in your life too. It's more healthlier than living in "junk"...

Step 17: Stay Hydrated!

Picture of Stay Hydrated!

I'm serious... Don't forget to drink while working, at least once in an hour.

Thank you for watching, hope you liked my ideas, if yes clock the Vote button! More projects soon... ;)

Comments

PeweePlays (author)2016-02-11

is the thing on pic 2 on the very top of the desk a drone?

Imetomi (author)PeweePlays2016-02-11

Yes, I have a programmable hexcopter and quadcopter...

mahmudkabir (author)Imetomi2016-09-24

from where you got it? (any link?) thanks.

PeweePlays (author)Imetomi2016-02-11

cool!

PeweePlays (author)2016-02-11

i need help on finding a site to learn electrical engineering. can you help?

Imetomi (author)PeweePlays2016-02-11

I speak four languages almost perfect, (of course I have some grammar errors) but I understand almost everything in English, German, Hungarian and Romanian so I read a lot of books and forums, the best English book that I've read was the Practical Electronics for Inventors.

C___G (author)Imetomi2016-04-27

Got my "Practical Electronics for Inventors" book from the MAKE ENERGY Challenge. Haha

PeweePlays (author)Imetomi2016-02-11

Thanks!

dimasgomez (author)PeweePlays2016-02-14

i suggest 6002x on Edx by MITx. It's a very good course.

SoLongSidekick (author)2016-02-15

This is boggling my mind. In the pictures of your desk expander, the dowels on the legs are much longer than your desk surface is thick. Are those not dowels? How in the world do they not stick up through the top of the desk surface? Or are they some sort of bracket with a folding bracket that lock into the bottom of the surface horizontally?

ohoilett (author)2016-02-14

Wow you're like my twin.

Imetomi (author)ohoilett2016-02-14

:))) Why?

ohoilett (author)Imetomi2016-02-15

Lol. Reasonably similar set up. Arduino as primary micro, boxes and boxes of salvaged parts, boxes and boxes of projects in the works, a component for everything, organizational structure, etc.

svaziry (author)2016-02-09

hi My name is Shershah and I am 17 I like your projects so much and I am a beginner interested in electronics I want to that where should I start and what programming skills and stuffs like that I need?

TimothyJ999 (author)svaziry2016-02-14

There's a really good online course on Udemy.com called "Arduino Step by Step" that will take you from the very basics to some quite advanced concepts. It's usually $200 but if you get on the Idemy mailing list you'll get coupons--any course for $10. Definitely worth it!

Imetomi (author)svaziry2016-02-10

If you want to learn programming electronic circuits I recommend to start with a sterter kit you can find many special starter kits on eBay, these are usually very good starting points, and search for Arduino tutorials, videos and Instructables on the internet. Hope this helps: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Ultimate-UNO-R3-Starter-Kit-for-Arduino-1602-LCD-Servo-Motor-Relay-RTC-LED-/272090069402?hash=item3f59d4f99a:g:PCsAAOSwUdlWguE9

svaziry (author)Imetomi2016-02-10

thanks a lot bro for your help and one thing which programming languages I should learn?

Imetomi (author)svaziry2016-02-10

fo programming circuits you can write codes in C++, Python but for the Arduino is a specified language called Arduino https://www.arduino.cc/.

svaziry (author)Imetomi2016-02-11

thanks for the help

jsullivan27 (author)2016-02-14

well done.... I like the thought put into the planning...keep making!!!

rkba260 (author)2016-02-14

Hydrated*

Imetomi (author)rkba2602016-02-14

Thanks, I corrected.

RicksterInstructables (author)2016-02-14

Is the red stuff under your soldering iron something special, or just a sponge?

It's a simple sponge.

Wildbilly66 (author)2016-02-14

What glue did you use to hold down the wires on your soldering station?

Very nice instructable and some great tips! Water and exercise round things out nicely :)

Imetomi (author)Wildbilly662016-02-14

Thank you! I used a simple hot glue gun.

su60 (author)2016-02-14

Great job on your instructable. Thanks for sharing.

PeweePlays (author)2016-02-11

cause i love drones and electronics...

Imetomi (author)PeweePlays2016-02-11

Oh, everyone loves drones! :))

mauG (author)2016-02-09

Good job ;)

Yonatan24 (author)2016-02-09

Can I ask what exactly is that green tool in picture 2 of Step #5?

Imetomi (author)Yonatan242016-02-09

That's a rotary tool, like the Dremel: driller, sandpaper, plexiglas/hobbyglas cutter...

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hi, I'm Tamas (Thomas), a 17 years old Hungarian guy. My hobby started more than 10 years ago. I learn electronics, physics, programming, IoT ... More »
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